Family talk:John Woods and Elizabeth Woods (2)

John Woods may NOT have married Elizabeth Worsop [28 March 2009]

This John Woods has been identified as marrying Elizabeth Worsop, but based upon the following post, that appears to be in error:

Major Error in Michael Woods Trees Posted by: Brett F. Woods Date: January 29, 1999 at 14:33:56

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I ran across this message on a FTM board. I thought it may be of some interest since it may impact some genealogies that stem from Michael's line. The following is a verbatim transcript and I am forwarding it for discussion without comment and there is no need to contact me. The original site is:

Subject: Major Error in Michael Woods Trees

Posted by Cecilia linda L Fabosbecker ( on March 10, 1998 at 19:02:10:

I just started using the World Family Tree CD's, vol.'s 1-5 and noticed the same error repeated in several Woods family trees. The error is the listing of Michael Woods 1684-1762, the son of John Woods and Elizabeth _Worsop_ of Northern Ireland. In the 1970's and 80's several researchers examined Irish records. One of the best descriptions of one such effort is in "Woods-Wallace Cousin Clues" by Ruth Lamar Petracek. Elizabeth Worsop was married to _a_ John Wood (no "s") and was his second wife, but not the ancestor of the Borden Grant, Virginia Woods. Elizabeth Worsop is proven to have had _NO_ children. (Public Records office, Belfast, Ireland, T 559, Vol. 42, p. 148)

A Sir John Woods of Dunshaughlin castle was married to a cousin of his, named Elizabeth _Woods_ and had several children. Michael, his sister Elizabeth (married to a Wallace, believed to be named Peter), and several brothers were among them. The descendants of Michael Woods' uncle, Thomas, still live at Milverton Hall, Skerries in Ireland, just north of Dublin,--not northern Ireland better known as Ulster. Dunshaughlin castle is in ruins, but still has gardens that are a popular tourist stop.

Sir John Woods of Dunshaughlin Castle was the son or grandson grandson of Sir John Woods from Yorkshire, married to Isabel Bruce who came into Ireland with Cromwell. All the _Protestant_ Woods of Ireland ultimately descend from this man, according to an article citing Landed Gentry, England by Burke (Of Burke's Peerage publications.) page 2267. No edition year is given.

Sir John Woods, who married his cousin Elizabeth (same surname) had a brother named Thomas who married Margaret O'Hara of Kildare. It is his descendants who first lived at Winter Lodge and then at Milverton Hall, Skerries. According to a researcher from New Mexico, Woods descendants still lived at Milverton Hall in the early 1980's.

Elizabeth Woods was a daughter of Thomas Woods of Dunshaughlin and Elizabeth Parsons of the infamous Parsons of Birr Castle. (Birr Castle still stands, by the way.) They were married in County Meath in 1661.

We're still looking for more records of Sir John and his wife Elizabeth both surnamed Woods. We have reason to believe they were married in 1689.

One of the Woods researchers was the late St. Clair County, Missouri historian, John Mills. He once found the graves of both Michael Woods (Sr.) and his wife, Mary Catherine Campbell near the first site of the Forks of the James Meeting House, somewhere near Glasgow, Virginia. That site has now been lost. Graves were moved to accommodate either a freeway or highway junction, leaving only these two behind--and unmaintained.

We are still trying to find them again. On the monument that may still exist with these graves, according to the late Mr. Mills, is an inscription noting that Mary was the first white woman in the Valley (Shenandoah) murdered by Indians in 1742. It is believed this was the same incident in which her son-in-law John McDowell sold liquor to the Iroquois party on its way to attack Cherokee for a Cherokee hunting excursion that went too far north. Yes, it was Iroquois, not Shawnee.

There are several contemporary accounts of the military aspect of all this, with a mention of a few white settlers (unnamed) having been killed before McDowell was ordered to go after them. Some accounts, among the Preston papers (Capt. Preston of the late colonial militia and early Revolution) can be found in the Lyman Draper collection in the Library of Congress and at the University of Wisconsin.

Michael Woods removed himself from his original home to live with a son, in Goochland. We have not identified what year this was, but it logically was probably after the murder of his wife. At this time, he may have made a pre-death settlement upon several of his older children. It is a fact, that only six of his reputed children are mentioned in his will dated, November 24, 1761 (he died soon after writing it.).

The children not mentioned in Michael Woods Sr.'s will do _not_ have sons named Michael, but named _Samuel_. There are some records suggesting that Michael had either a brother or son named Samuel who lived in Augusta County. A record of Smith's store in Staunton shows it being frequented by _Samuel Woods_ in 1734--3 years before Michael Woods signs for his grant from the Earl of Gooch, and 4 years before his own name appears in the store records. It is possible that Samuel was an older brother of the non-mentioned children, and became their guardian in the wake of their mother's death and father's grief and departure. However, we don't know for sure what the situation was.

Bear in mind, however, that we do not have firm proof that Martha Woods' parents were Michael Woods Sr. and Mary Campbell. She is one of the Woods excluded from Michael's will. The others are: Richard, Magdalena, Michael Jr. (Jr. did not necessarily mean son of another by the same name) and Andrew.

It is important to verify information provided by someone else--to identify the "primary sources"--that is contemporary records to stated events. Even the venerable George Selden Wallace book about the Woods-Wallaces has a few, although not many, errors.

Also, Mary Catherine Campbell has been identified by several researchers examining the records of Mary's day as Mary Catherine Campbell, 3rd daughter of Sir James Campbell, baronet of Auchinbreck the 2nd son of Sir Duncan Campbell of Cawdor and Harriet of Balcarres (a daughter of the Earl of Balcarres--Lindsays). Sir James' married 3 times: first to Lady Jean McLeod, second to his cousin, Lady Susan Campbell of Cawdor, whose father was Sir Archibald Campbell, and third to Lady Margaret Campbell of the Carradale Campbells. Most, if not all the children of the second wife emigrated to Virginia. These include James, Gilbert and Alexander Campbell. Gilbert, married to Prudence Osran is an ancestor of the Hays/Hayes family of Virginia and Kentucky. The information about the ancestry of Mary Campbell is in older editions of "Burke's Peerage."

Cecilia L. Fabos-Becker 18:12, 28 March 2009 (EDT)